Kingdom rocked by Fitzmaurice retirement

April 10, 2007

Kerry's Eamonn Fitzmaurice
Three-time All-Ireland winner Eamon Fitzmaurice has stunned Kerry football by announcing his inter-county retirement. The news is another major defensive blow to new manager Pat O'Shea, who is already planning ahead without Seamus Moynihan and Mike McCarthy. Aged just 29, Fitzmaurice informed the Kerry boss of his decision on Bank Holiday Monday, and insisted that there was no ill-feeling between the two. "I set myself a target by the end of the National League I would be able to nail down the centre back spot. That didn't happen for different reasons and it hasn't worked out," he explained. "So I think it was time to go." The Finuge clubman revealed that he had intended retiring after last year's All-Ireland final victory over Mayo, but decided to play on. "When I decided to come back, I wanted to get back in the team and help Kerry anyway I could. But the fairytales doesn't work out for everyone. Seamus Moynihan came back last year and won a league, an All-Ireland and an All-Star but it didn't work out for me and that is the way it goes. I have no regrets." Fitzmaurice, who won All-Ireland medals in 2000, 2004 and last year, added: "I have a good relationship with Pat (O'Shea) and he knew where I was coming from. He knew that it wasn't a rash decision and that I had thought it through logically. He would have preferred if I had stayed on. There are no sour grapes and I wish him and the lads the very best for the year ahead."

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